Join Date: Jan 2009
Kael'thas Sunstrider: Eclipse
I've been putting this together whenever I get stuck writing my Illidan fanfic
. I haven't quit that one or anything. It is priority over this fanfic at the moment (and comic over both of them). As with the Illidan story, it serves as a prequel to my comic, but in no way do you need to be familiar with my WoW comic
or the Illidan story before reading this. Despite what it looks like from this first chapter, this fanfic does not follow Kael'thas through Warcraft 3. That would be kind of redundant since nearly all of his Warcraft 3 appearances will be told in my Illidan fanfic. The rest of the story flashes back to Kael's early years, prior to Warcraft 3. I'll get more opportunity to flex my creative muscle in this fanfic than the Illidan story or comic.
Is "mages" or "magi" the correct plural?
Six chairs had been laid out in a circle as a sign of equality and unification. Kael'thas Sunstrider took his usual seat in the Council of Six between Modera and Antonidas. He looked across the room and saw fellow citizens of Dalaran ready to scrutinize their decisions and felt an uncomfortable feeling come over him. In the past, the council would meet secretly in the Chamber of Air, and their identities remained a closely guarded secret. However, the citizens of Dalaran had demanded change following the recent betrayal of Kel'thuzad and the devastating events brought forth all over the continent by his undead army. Because its citizens demanded full transparency of the Dalaran government and its procedures, Kael and his fellow council members were forced to lift the veil of anonymity.
Across from him sat Archmage Drenden, a short and heavyset human who had been serving on the council for nearly as long as Modera. He was a stubborn politician who often butted heads with Kael when it came to foreign relations, but the two had a healthy dose of respect for each other.
To the right of Drenden was once the chair of Kel'thuzad. For the first time in the nation's history, a council member was elected by the citizens of Dalaran, rather than the other ruling members. Kael'thas had reservations about the newly elected official, Archmage Arugal. He was a charismatic and powerful sorcerer who had become wildly popular over the course of his campaign, but Kael saw that he was undisciplined and lacked a world view, despite being born to another kingdom. The people of Dalaran were enthralled by his radical ideas, and labeled him a maverick. Kael was disturbed by the similarities between Arugal and the council member he had replaced. Dalaran never knew the true Kel'thuzad, so they could not have known that the candidate they desired most could become his successor in more ways than one.
"Where is Archmage Krasus?" asked Arugal as he looked to the empty chair sat between him and Archmage Antonidas. "I don't believe we are supposed to begin until all council members are present. Dalaran has urgent issues to attend to, its people can't afford for the great Krasus to be tardy."
"Archmage Krasus is currently preoccupied with personal affairs and cannot attend this meeting." responded Archmage Antonidas as he looked expectantly around the room. "He has authorized a temporary proxy to serve in his stead. I don't know what's keeping him."
Drenden stroked his beard. "A proxy? That is highly unorthodox."
"But well within the law... It's exactly who I think it is, isn't it?" said Kael, grinning.
A bearded, red-haired mage nervously approached the group. "I apologize for being late, my wife and I are expecting and she thought she was going into labor, but it turned out to be a false alarm." he said as he took his seat inbetween Archmage Arugal and Archmage Antonidas. "I don't know which of you I've met before, but I am Rhonin, and I am greatly humbled by being chosen by Archmage Krasus to represent him on this council. It is an honor to serve here with all of you."
Drenden sighed and rolled his eyes, Modera laughed and shook her head, and Arugal leaned back to study the newcomer with interest. Everyone had their own feelings on Rhonin, but Kael was able to step back and appreciate the fine mage he had become over the years. Many had not forgotten his mishap in the early days of the second war that had nearly resulted in Rhonin being forbidden from continuing his arcane studies. He was once a young and arrogant apprentice whose foolishness cost the lives of fellow mages. He was not that man anymore, but not everyone could see this, despite all of his accomplishments since. He owed it all to Archmage Krasus, who for reasons that have always remained unclear to Kael, saw something deep within the red-headed sorceror and gave him a second chance.
Antonidas smiled and nodded. "We are happy to have you here." The elder mage turned away and his face grew somber. "Now that we are all accounted for, we have grave matters to discuss."
Archmage Antonidas waved his staff into the air and a map of the region appeared, floating in the center of the six at eye level. The map prominently noted the location of Dalaran and Lordaeron, along with red x's placed ominously around the latter. "At great cost, we have confirmed the rumors: Lordaeron has been destroyed, and King Terenas lies slain at the hands of his traitor son Arthas, who now rules the undead masses known as the Scourge."
Drenden leaped out of his seat, and pointed accusingly at Antonidas. "You were warned of this! That man in the brown cloak told you this would happen. When I saw him in Lordaeron, I regarded him a fool... but we've all ignored him and now everything he has said is coming true. We should follow his advice and cross the great sea before it is too late!"
Archmage Modera also stood up. "You would have us surrender all of our kingdoms to the undead? Are you mad!?"
"I would rather we sacrifice Dalaran than its citizens!" responded Drenden.
"We are a land-locked kingdom, where would we acquire the transport?" asked Modera. "And you know as well as I that it isn't feasible to teleport the entire nation, we'd risk tearing the world apart!"
"Sit down, both of you!" commanded Antonidas. "We must remain calm and rational at all times, even in one so perilous such as this. It will do Dalaran no good to make a hasty, ill-conceived plan of action."
"What about using illusion spells or temporal displacement to conceal our location?" proposed Rhonin.
"Too risky. We've lost many talented wizards to the cult, and they would be likely to see through our ruse." replied Kael'thas. "If we are the Scourge's next target, we need to mount a proper defense that could stop even the best of spell casters. My homeland utilizes powerful wards that keep my people safe from harm. I propose we erect similar barriers here in Dalaran. We do not have the luxury of time, so any such wards will be less potent and require a constant upkeep of mana to fuel its power. It should be enough to slow down the undead, if not stop them entirely."
Archmage Arugal stomped his feet into the ground. "Listen to all of you... you want us to flee and hide from this menace? Since when does the Kirin Tor bow down to any threat? Lordaeron may have fallen, but we are Dalaran! We are the greatest nation in all of Azeroth, and all of you seem to be forgetting just who we are and what we are capable of!"
The Kingdom of Dalaran was unique among the human kingdoms. While the others were often cautious and suspicious of their neighbors, Dalaran welcomed the magically curious from all nations. Like Kael, Arugal was born to a different nation and still held a position of prominence within his native Gilneas, but it was not uncommon for mages to feel a sense of greater belonging in Dalaran, which in turn developed a sense of national pride. Kael'thas Sunstrider often felt more at home in Dalaran than in his own nation, as the Prince of Quel'thalas. His father's concern over this was made frequently clear, and the members of the Convocation of Silvermoon - on which he also served - were not shy in hiding their resentment.
Arugal continued, "Since this Kingdom's founding, we have been subject to harsh restrictions forbidding certain studies, experiments, and practice with magics that have been deemed too dangerous or evil, as some might say. To that, I remind you that we are in a war the likes of which we have never seen. The Scourge is a threat far greater than the Horde, and perhaps if we had abolished those sanctions then we would not have suffered such great losses in the Second War. We must no longer hold ourselves back... Azeroth needs the Kirin Tor at their maximum potential!"
Kael'thas had grown angry. His kind knew better than the humans the dangerous allure of the darker magics. The High Elves were aware that shadow magic, and especially fel magic, were highly attractive and extremely powerful forms of arcane magic. Most who would walk down the darker path of the arcane would become corrupted and twisted by it. "I vehemently disagree with your position, Archmage. We Quel'dorei have known since ages past that-"
A large magical disturbance in Dalaran had interrupted Kael. It was, in fact, an unauthorized portal that had been opened from Silvermoon. It had been known since the aftermath of the Alliance expedition into Draenor that opening portals caused damage to the planet's arcanosphere, and so were now required by law to have authorization from top ranking officials of a nation. Portals were only to be created in the event of an emergency, and this new portal had lacked the signature of King Anasterian of Quel'thalas. The Dalaran guards attempted to stop the lawbreaking group of High Elves, but one broke through and rushed towards the council's meeting.
The doors of the council chamber slammed open, and all eyes fixated on a weariful elven priestess covered in dirt and blood. Kael recognized her as Priestess Liadrin, a respected member of Silvermoon's branch of the Church of the Holy Light. She took two steps into the room before collapsing to all-fours, still breathing heavily. Guards rushed in to detain her, but Kael waved them off and helped the priestess to her feet.
She had difficulty speaking, and seemed to struggle even further to find the words: "Sire... I..."
"Priestess, what is the meaning of this?"
"The Scourge... Scourge invaded..." Liadrin coughed onto Kael's shoulder, and as he looked down he saw the blood that had come with her cough. She grabbed Kael by the collar and looked him straight in the eyes. In the glistening blue orbs he could see the pain that was swelled up inside of her. "We have lost... everything..."
I'm going to go ahead and put together some preemptive answers
-Arthas and the Scourge go from Lordaeron to Andorhal to retrieve Kel'thuzad's remains, then to Quel'thalas to revive him, and then to Dalaran to summon Archimonde.
-I wanted to mention it in the fanfic, but I didn't feel it was important enough to mess up the ending: Dalaran's scouts were attacked and delayed by the scourge (the "at great cost" was mentioned), and the reason they were mistaken about the Scourge's position is because they didn't consider that they wouldn't stop to rest before moving again. It was assumed Dalaran would be the next likely target.
-Arcanosphere. I know. I thought it sounded like something Blizzard would say so I did it first. I don't care how dorky that was. It always bothered me to think that a mage could teleport anywhere they wanted to. What stops a Forsaken mage from teleporting into Varian's bedroom late at night? Besides wards to prevent such a thing, I like the idea that the portals are powerful enough that sensitive mages can detect them in time to stop anyone that teleports in, if necessary. In my Warcraftverse, there are only a few sanctioned portals in the world and opening any other portals is outlawed unless approved by a high-ranking leader.
-Arugal was added to the six because he was really the only other prominent member of Dalaran that would fit my idea for the role. There is nothing in lore that confirms him as one of the six. Krasus is gone because the Reds are recuperating after being freed in "Day of the Dragon". It is the only explanation I have for why they don't show up anywhere in War3. And who else but Rhonin would be his temporary replacement?
-While the rest of the story is to take place before Warcraft 3, this scene will have later relevance.
Thanks for reading! Give me some feedback and I will love you long time!